There’s no place like seaside Blueberry Cove, Maine,
Christmas—and there’s nothing like a wedding, the warmth
the holidays, and an old crush, to create the perfect new
Interior designer Fiona
McCrae has left fast-paced Manhattan to move back home to
peaceful Blueberry Cove. But she’s barely arrived before
she’s hooked into planning her big sister Hannah’s
wedding—in less than seven weeks. The last thing
needs is for her first love, Ben Campbell, to return to
neighboring Snowflake Bay…
As kids, Fiona
the bratty little sister Ben mercilessly teased—while
after Hannah. But Fi never once thought of Ben like a
brother. And that hasn’t changed. Except Fi is all grown
Will Ben notice her now? More importantly, with her
life in a jumble, should he? Or might the romance of the
occasion, the spirit of the season, and the gifts of time
ignite a long-held flame for many Christmases to come…
Something old might just become something
Includes a DIY wedding
“Did you sign the papers? Dot every i, cross every t?” Kerry asked the
Fiona entered the Rusty Puffin, not pausing as she continued to wipe down
“I did,” Fiona told her. “As of this morning at about ten, Beanie’s Fat
is all mine.” She hiked herself up on a stool and leaned her elbows on the
gleaming cypress bar. “I even had the chance to go by and talk to Eula.”
And, actually, her visit to Eula’s was every bit as much the reason for
mood, thanks to the moment she’d had in Eula’s shop with Ben Campbell.
Specifically the moment she’d taken off her coat and glanced at him in
time to catch
that rather pole-axed look on his face. It was quite possible it hadn’t
meant that he’d
just looked at her as a woman for the very first time, rather than a
annoying kid sister, but she was going to choose to believe that’s exactly
happened. And she was going to wrap up that moment in a shiny gold bow,
it out and open it up every time she needed a little boost. Because that
look on his
handsome face had made it almost worth—almost—every single moment of
torment he’d put her through.
“You’re looking rather cat and canary,” Kerry said. “More cat, less
pulled two wine glasses out from under the bar and filled them with
what’s going on with you and Ben Campbell?”
Fiona wanted to rush in and deny, deny, deny, but she’d watched their
sister Hannah handle Kerry over the years and was proud of herself for
taking a page
from the lawyer’s handbook. “What makes you think there’s anything going
between me and Ben?”
Kerry waggled a finger. “Don’t play cross examiner with me. You’re no good
Fiona did the only mature thing possible, she stuck her tongue out.
“Careful where you stick that,” Kerry said, pretending to swipe and snag
I know is Hannah was in here earlier and she might have said something
being all pissy with Ben over him calling you Fireplug. You know he
doesn’t mean the
nickname in a bad way.”
“Yes, yes, he’s St. Ben the Benevolent. Christmas tree farmer, rescuer of
parents, all around fabulous human being, Ben Campbell.”
“Here,” Kerry said, handing her a glass. “Drink” She raised her own glass
salute, then tossed back the entire glass of champagne in one easy slide.
“I don’t even want to know how you can deep throat an entire glass of
champagne. It’s supposed to be sipped.”
“It’s supposed to be enjoyed,” Kerry said. “Bottoms up, shopkeeper.”
Fiona made her way to the bottom of her glass, too, albeit in several
“Okay, so what happened at Eula’s? Did you tell Ben what you thought of
pet name for you and chop his Campbell Christmas tree down to size?” She
more champagne. “And have you ever spent any time wondering just how, um,
and tall his pine might be?”
Fiona all but sprayed the sip of bubbly she’d just taken. “What?” She
her arms on the bar, mostly so she stayed steady on the stool. “No, I did
down his tree. Also? Ew. Shame on you. He’s like your brother.”
“He’s not our brother. Not even our cousin. And if you never looked at Ben
Campbell and wondered…” Her eyes widened with glee. “You’ve wondered about
pine. I think you want his pine. In fact, I think you want to—“
“Stop it,” Fiona hissed. She’d just wanted to hold on to her Ben moment
savor it in the privacy of her rejected schoolgirl mind. Was that too much
to ask? Her
pleasant fizziness abruptly dissolved. “I don’t want anything from Ben,
least of all
his—“ She broke off, refusing to take that nickname a syllable further.
“It’s true. I
didn’t like hearing that nickname again. I hated it then, and no matter
intent behind it, I’m not a big fan of it now. But then anything designed
someone and make them feel badly about themselves is never going to get a
cheer from me.”
Kerry reached her hand out toward her sister. “Fi, don’t, he’s—“
Fiona pulled her arm out of reach. “He’s family, I know. And we’re all
ups now, so you’re right, it shouldn’t matter. It was all a long, long
time ago. We were
all kids. Blah, blah, blah. But some things don’t have an expiration date.
that nickname made me feel is apparently one of them. Especially coming
one guy who, at the time, I wanted to see me as anything but.” There,
she’d said it.
All but shouted it, actually. “So you’ll have to forgive me if I still
don’t find being called
short, fat, and red all that sweet or amusing.”
“No, Fi—wait!” Kerry made a grab for her arm. “He’s—“
Standing right behind her. Of course he was.
“Fiona,” was all he said, but the look on his face said a million things
of them awful, because each one of them started with pity and ended with
She’d gotten her moment. That victorious, full circle moment every kid
ever been made to feel bad wanted. And she’d been good with that.
Unfortunately, the look she’d remember forever, was the one on his face
now. This was to be her moment. Why had she ever assumed it would be any
different? The joke, it seemed, was always going to be on her.
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Brides of Blueberry Cove
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